Police Minister Bheki Cele says the government has to take on an urgent review of the country’s laws regarding crimes against women and children.

He was speaking at the funeral service of murdered 8-year-old Tazne van Wyk at Elsies River on the Cape Flats on Saturday.

Van Wyk’s body was found in a stormwater drain in Worcester in the Boland last week.  The murder suspect was previously released on parole on 11 counts, including murder. The suspect was released on parole in 2016.

Cele said the government needed to carefully look at South African laws as they are in some instances very weak.

“If we have done proper things as the government, as the criminal justice system, this child would be still jumping and playing, but instead here she lies. It does give us the opportunity of introspection as the government, it does give us the opportunity to say ‘you go back and correct things that you have done wrong’. And I agree, we have failed this child – as a government, as people we have failed this child.”

Cele says the police and the justice department will look at implementing mechanisms that would make it impossible for perpetrators of crimes against women and children to get parole.

In the video below, Bheki Cele highlights that it is high time ‘we’ stop telling women to look after themselves but focus on the men that are committing crimes against them.

Review of parole system 

President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this week visited Van Wyk’s family and undertook to review the parole system.

Ramaphosa expressed that the suspect should not be granted bail and must receive a lengthy prison sentence. Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola has initiated a review of the parole process.

Lamola said his department is already instituting a full review of the parole system in the country. The minister says part of the review will look into professionalising the parole process.

‘Work together to protect children’

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato says the killing of children cannot be allowed to carry on. He says the attitude of some older men towards little children needs special attention.

Plato says communities and politicians must work together to protect children. “Tazne did not deserve to die like that. Her mother, father, brothers and sisters will not see their child finish matric. A mother and a father will not see their daughter getting married. They will not see the children of their daughter. Tazne died well before her time.”

In the video below, Tazne van Wyk’s family spoke out for the first time following the 8-year-old’s murder.

Hundreds pay tribute to Van Wyk

Hundreds of people from various communities across Cape Town are attending the funeral of murdered Tazne van Wyk in Elsies River on the Cape Flats.

Tazne’s murder has sent shockwaves in the close-knit community.

A motorbike parade led the funeral procession from the family home in Connaught Estate to the church in halt road.

Below is the complete funeral service: